How to get professional Camera lenses super cheap

Part of what really made my images stand out in the beginning, is when I started using professional camera lenses.

But also starting out I didn’t have any money to invest in expensive lenses. There was just no way for me to afford them starting out, and that is the case for a lot of beginner photographers.

But I found a way to get my hands on some really nice professional camera lenses for super cheap! Here’s how I did it.

Vintage Camera Lenses

After using a kit lens for a couple of weeks, I did some research and realized that I really needed to get some nice camera lenses if I wanted that nice professional look in my photos. 

Of course I also realized very quickly how expensive those lenses were.

But after talking to several photographer friends, I discovered that most of the lenses I was interested in were actually available for a fraction of the price. Vintage camera lenses!

We’ve been making professional camera lenses for centuries, why does it have to be brand new?

So I started searching websites like eBay and was shocked at what I found.

Most of the lenses I wanted were there and super cheap! But one very important thing about these lenses. They likely won’t fit onto your camera. 

But no worries, there’s probably an adaptive for that.


it’s fairly easy to find out if there is an adapter for that lens to your camera. For example, if you find a Pentax K mount 50mm f1.7 lens for $25 and you want to put it on your newer Sony E mount camera, just go to Amazon and type in “Pentax K mount to Sony E mount adapter” and see if any pop up.

One of the advantages of using these vintage lenses is that the adapters are also very cheap since there are no electronic components.

Let’s talk about some of the other advantages of getting vintage camera lenses.


Obviously the price is ridiculously cheap. The Pentax 50mm f1.7 lens, as mentioned above, was my first prime lens. And I got it for $35! I’ve seen them for as little as $12 before. The price deferred depending on when and where you’re looking.

There is a huge variety of lenses to choose from. Like I said earlier, the’ve been making fantastic prime lenses for centuries.

My dream lens is a 200mm f2. It never occurred to me to check and see if there was a vintage version of the 200mm f2 lenses until another photographer told me that there was. I snatched one up about a week later!

The quality of these lenses is great too, considering, My 200mm f2 lens is around 40 years old, but the quality is still greats!

These lenses do have their disadvantages though.


Being vintage lenses, they will all be manual focus. That wasn’t a big deal for me but in the 21st century, everyone is hocked on auto EVERYTHING!

I said earlier that the quality of these lenses is great. Well, that depends on the condition of the lens. I have been very fortunate to get a lot of great lenses, but I also did my research and made sure those lenses were in good condition.

Being as old as they are, they do have a slight haze to them from dust and other things inside the lens. But starting out, and for the price, you really cannot complain.


So now that you know what to look for, go and see if you can find a vintage version of your dream lens.

I used vintage manual focus lenses professionally for 3 years, and still use a lot of them today.

I hope this was helpful to you. Let me know in the comments below.

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